Tahini in cookies? You bet!

If you or someone you know is allergic to peanuts or peanut butter, yet craves a really good cookie, I have a perfect – super-easy – recipe… Tahini cookies. That’s right. Tahini (sesame seed paste), the same ingredient used in making hummus, is the key ingredient in this delicious, crispy, somewhat chewy cookie. It goes great with a cup of coffee (Armenian, of course) or tea! 

By the way, you could leave out the flour altogether for a gluten-free cookie, but the texture will be  ever-so-delicate.

Tahini Cookies

This recipe uses tahini (sesame seed paste) to create a delicious cookie with a delicate, crisp, somewhat chewy texture.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 2 dozen


  • 1 cup tahini (very well-stirred)
  • ¾ to 1 cup granulated sugar (For a sweeter cookie, add 1 cup sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
  • dash salt
  • ¼- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (See note below for a flourless cookie.)


  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Mix together the tahini, sugar, and egg in a mixing bowl. Sift-in the baking soda, cinnamon, flour and salt. Blend well.
  • Roll dough into walnut-sized balls with slightly dampened hands. (This helps to prevent sticking.) Place each ball on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 ½ inches apart. 
  • Using the tines of a fork, press down to slightly flatten each cookie and create a criss-cross design. 
  • Sprinkle tops with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
  • Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookie bottoms should be golden and centers slightly soft.
  • Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Carefully move cookies onto wire racks and allow to cool completely.


Cookie Baking Tip:
 Roll the balls of dough the same size to ensure even baking and uniformly-sized cookies.
NOTE: Flour can be omitted in this recipe for a gluten-free option, but the texture will be extemely delicate.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. Ara August 3, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Yes! These are delish! And if you look in the dessert section of Alice Antreassian's cookbook (the vegetarian one), you will even find a recipe for cake with tahini! I am firmly convinced that tahini is the Armenian version of bacon (as in, "everything tastes better with bacon/tahini").

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting this!

  2. Robyn August 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Glad you like the cookie recipe, Ara.
    In reference to the cake… are you referring to the 'Sesame Seed Lemon Pound Cake'? That sounds really good. Maybe I'll give it a try when it's not so darn hot outside!

  3. Ara August 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    That's the one. Not being a baker, that recipe was a lifesaver a couple of times.

  4. Bonnie August 4, 2011 at 2:57 am

    If you bake the cake, Robyn, I volunteer to taste/test it!

  5. Robyn August 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    It's a deal, Bonnie!

  6. Anonymous August 6, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Thank you for your AMAZING website! I want to cook everything here. I am currently a college student living away from home & these recipes are invaluable to me 🙂 THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!


  7. Robyn August 6, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Hi Ani,
    Glad you found us! If you have any cooking questions, feel free to email robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com.
    Good luck in college!

  8. Rose Dipped August 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Wow nice recipe! It waked the curiosity in me! I've never thought of adding tahini…

  9. Tabby Pink August 20, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Awesome. It is my first time to hear about this tahini cookies. I can't wait to try this one and share with my best friend who is allergic to peanuts.

  10. Anonymous January 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Adding a tiny bit of cinnamon to the mix goes very well with this, and brings to mind 'tahinov hatz', which is a truly wonderful pastry my grandma used to make from time to time.

  11. Unknown December 10, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Hi there, I'm a tad obsessed with tahini, and also eat low carb – so these cookies are right up my alley! Could you tell me though, do they freeze? …..I'd like to know so I don't risk eating the whole batch in one sitting!

    1. Robyn Kalajian December 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      I must be honest, Helena. I never had leftover cookies to freeze! The only way to find out is to freeze some and see how well they turn out once defrosted. I'd love to hear the result of this experiment.

  12. Marie September 19, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Did you forget the flour in the ingredient list?

  13. Marie September 22, 2019 at 1:49 am

    How many cups of flour?

  14. Anonymous September 22, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Can anyone tell me how many cups of flour?

  15. Marie September 26, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Can't wait to make them but can you tell us how many cups of flour is needed

    1. Robyn Kalajian November 1, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      I apologize for the late response, Marie. This is a recipe for a delicate, no-flour-required cookie. However, that doesn't mean flour can't be added to give the cookies more body. Try adding about 1 cup of flour to the above recipe for a sturdier cookie. Bake at the same temp, for about the same amount of time.

  16. Marie November 18, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you so much Robyn really appreciate it.


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